Monday, August 17, 2015

Camelot

I recently got an email from my school leadership (whom I respect very much, not least of all for encouraging me to try new things in my classroom).

It seems that, following this spring's rounds of standardized testing, a decision has been made to take an "all hands" approach to improving and supporting growth in the area of literacy.



That means that my Strategy Games Class has been cancelled (along with an extension art class, a teen living class, a creative writing class, a drama class, an all-female exercise and health class, and a handful of other enrichment courses designed to engage those students who didn't necessarily require additional reading or math intervention to perform on grade level ... so I'm in good company here).

Let me be clear please: our school still teaches art, music, PE, tech ed, etc. ... we are simply removing the additional elective spot offered to some students and instead creating structure around daily reading for all students.

I get it.

This is what is best for the majority of our students.

I've had the amazing and rare privilege of introducing a couple hundred young people to tabletop role-playing during the regular school day, and I'm really grateful to have had the opportunity.



In literature, film (even corny ones), and games, Camelot is always this anachronistic idealization about how things could be.  But of course it wouldn't be Camelot if it didn't come to an end eventually -- if it wasn't "too good to last" in a less than perfect world.

So ...

I'm down but not out.
I still have a few irons in the fire, including the following:
  • I'm completing a draft of Olde School Wizardry, my very own tabletop role-playing game
  • I'm entering my 7th year of running Olde School Wizardry for an awesome group of adult players, and we're just starting our third chapter of the campaign
  • I'm still running "Homeguard!" a weekly D&D campaign with my daughters (and their friends)
  • I'll be running a weekly, 90 min, after school Strategy Games Club for 6th-8th graders
  • I'll run annual Adventure Games Summer Camps, introducing middle schoolers to RPGs and board games 
By necessity though, since the experiment that launched this blog 160-some posts ago is over (at least for the time being), I'll be shifting my focus to the projects above.  Hope you come along for the journey.
artwork by David T. Wenzel